With its striking architecture and idyllic sweeping canals, Venice is one of Italy’s most famous tourist destinations. This city is perfect for a weekend break - you can relax, embrace Italian culture and soak up the sunshine in the Summer.
It is located in Italy’s Veneto region and is made of more than 100 small islands in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads; just 26 miles of winding canals and about 400 bridges.
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What to Do:
The Grand Canal sweeps through the heart of Venice and is lined with impressive buildings once home to Venetian nobility. Explore the canal by water bus or a typical gondola - just be careful to avoid any costly scams!
Piazza San Marco, the city’s majestic main square, is the place to head to if you’re an avid fan of people watching. Take a seat at one of the numerous outdoor cafes or restaurants, order an espresso and watch the world go by.
The Basilica San Marco is an impressive church set off the main square. It’s a must see if you enjoy Byzantine architecture and fine sculptures.
For a breathtaking view over the city and its impressive waterways, visitors can ride an elevator to the top of the Campanile, a bell tower. Completed in 1912 and standing at 307 feet, it’s both the tallest building in Venice and one of the oldest, too.
The Rialto market sells fruit, vegetables and fish and is well worth a wonder, especially if you get there before the crowds in the morning. A guide can take you on a tour around the market and provide info about local cuisine and authentic street food.
Venice is a great place to shop, particularly if visitors are searching for fine Italian leather, glass and lace. It’s easy to get lost in a maze of souvenir shops, though, so don’t be afraid to wander off the beaten paths - you never know what hidden gems you might come across!
Italian cuisine is known for its simple ingredients and enticing flavours. Being surrounded by water, it’s no surprise that the Venetians favour fresh fish and seafood over other meat, seasoned simply with olive oil and herbs.
The family-run Antiche Carampane is a cosy restaurant specialising in seafood, which is freshly caught each day and bought from the nearby Rialto market. Natalie Portman and Yoko Ono are just a few of the famous names who have previously dined there.
If you’re not in the mood for a big meal, head to a local bar and order some ciccheti (snacks). Osteria All-Arco is known for its delicious miniature bar snacks, which you can enjoy with a crisp glass of wine or refreshing beer.
After dark Venice becomes a hub of live music and entertainment. Enjoy street theatre from your seat and soak up the atmosphere with a spritz in hand at Al Prosecco, a lively bar situated away from the main tourist routes.
Cosy, intimate bars can be found hidden away, where visitors can enjoy a glass of locally-produced wine. The Veneto region is known for its delicious white wine, as its home to some of the best vineyards in Italy.
Where to Stay:
The Gritti Palace occupies the best spot on the Grand Canal and is undoubtedly one of the best hotels the city has to offer. Visitors will be met with sumptuous interiors, superior service and exquisite facilities to name a few. It’s an intimate hotel, so every need is met beyond expectations, and nothing is too much trouble. Doubles start from £425 per night, including breakfast.